Ubuntu Linux Will Work To Slowly Demphasize 32-bit

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 13 November 2014 at 12:44 PM EST. 18 Comments
Canonical isn't yet prepared to drop 32-bit Ubuntu ISOs outright, but over time -- and particularly at or just after Ubuntu 16.04 -- they will work to demphasize the existence of the 32-bit releases and work to push more users to 64-bit Ubuntu as a main focus.

Discussed today during the second day of the online Ubuntu Summit was about when the 32-bit images should stop being made... to which there isn't yet a firm agreement. The 32-bit Ubuntu packages will likely be maintained past whenever the 32-bit images stop being spun, but this probably won't happen until after Ubuntu 16.04 -- the next Long Term Support release in 2016. This session today was a follow-on to the recent discussion about Ubuntu 16.04 potentially being the last 32-bit release.

In the near term, Ubuntu stakeholders will work to encourage more 64-bit Linux adoption, consider shipping a 64-bit Linux kernel for those installing 32-bit Ubuntu on a x86_64 capable system, investigate 32-bit UEFI issues, etc. Long story short is there's likely another two years of 32-bit Ubuntu Linux ISO releases but at least they're working to push 64-bit Linux adoption hardware. It was just last year that 64-bit Ubuntu became the recommended default.

For those interested last month I did some Ubuntu 14.10 32-bit vs. 64-bit benchmarks. You can find more of the Ubuntu developer discussion around the 32-bit Ubuntu abandonment via the session notes and video.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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